Trip Report - Komol, Peppermill, Il Fornaio, Triple George, Palm, Raku
Komol - I ate here twice this trip, both times as the result of friends who wanted to go to Lotus of Siam but waited too long to try to get reservations there. Just a short walk across the parking lot is Komol. Honesty, I think Komol compares very well to LOS. My two entrees were Pineapple Duck and Soft Shell Crab. I still crave LOS's Crispy Duck on Drunken Noodle, but the Pineapple Duck at Komol was very good. The appetizers were the strong points of the meal: Esan Sausage, Shrimp Meat Balls, Spring Rolls, Crispy Noodles. The Nam Sod with Crispy Rice was outstanding. Don't be sad if you can't get into the famous place across the street. You'll be happy here.
The Peppermill -- This is a must for me on any visit. My usual: The Classic Cob Salad. It's a huge mound of ham, turkey, cheese, bacon, avocado, bacon, and tomato on mixed greens. I sat at the counter and enjoyed watching the action.
Il Fornaio -- We were in NYNY for Zumanity and wanted a post-show nice meal. Il Fornaio is right there. It's a small chain originated in Italy with a dozen or so U.S. locations. The pasta and pizza was quite good. The service...not so much. Probably won't return.
Triple George -- I really like the clubby look of this downtown bar and grill. They have some neat cubicle-like enclosed dining spaces. My New England Clam Chowder was really outstanding. The wedge salad with blue cheese was the tasty monster you would expect. But the entrée was a disappointment. I got their signature Porcini Crusted Ribeye. The steak filled the plate, but was quite thin. I think it's hard to get a real juicy, flavorful steak with such a thin cut. A smaller, thinner version would work much better. The crust was OK, but nothing I particularly enjoyed. I'll try a regular steak next time. I don't mind al dente vegetables but the green beans and carrots were pretty much raw. Service was good. I'll try it again.
The Palm -- I think The Palm's business lunch deal is one of the best lunch bargains in town (along with Milos). They start you with a great bread basket. It's got five or six different selections of really good bread. I went for the Mushroom Soup (of the day). Wow, this may have been the best cream of mushroom soup I've ever had. I usually get the beef medallions as the main, but this time tried the Chicken Parmigiana. Pounded flat, it was as big as the plate. It was good, but I think I'll return to the steak next time. My side choice was the home made chips and fried onions. New York Cheesecake for dessert. At less than $26 for this level of food and service, it's a steal. Sit on the indoor "patio" of the Forum Shops and enjoy people watching.
Raku -- As you might expect, Raku was the star of the trip, dining-wise. I had an omakase selection. I'm not sure I'll remember every course, but the flight was outstanding. It started with Raku's famous fresh tofu, topped with dashi, green onion, green tea salt, and soy sauce. This is nothing like supermarket tofu. Next was a single oyster topped with caviar. Three kinds of sashimi came next: salmon, Bluefin tuna, and sea trout. Wonderful fish! Somewhere in there were skewers of grilled grape tomatoes and grilled Iberico ham. Also a large grilled prawn. Ended with a fluffy Japanese cheesecake. A superb meal.
It is good to read that Komol is holding up well. A couple of their former key employees are now in charge at Kinnaree Thai over at 7365 West Sahara. You can notice some similarities in the menu (http://kinnareethailv.com), but we have yet to find out if that location is under the umbrella of Komol owners, or is independent. Perhaps some other Chowhounders can help out on that front.